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What is the…
Trinity of God

There is only one God, but He consists of three distinct persons—The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

The word “trinity” is not found in Scripture. It is a word used by Christians to express the doctrine of the unity of God as consisting of three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Greek word trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Latin trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine.

This is the wondrous reality of God:

  1. God is one, and there is but one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30).

  2. The Father is a distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  3. Jesus Christ is truly God, and yet is a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 20:30-31).

  4. The Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person.

Notice the use of the words “us” and “our” when the Son of God (“The Word”) created Man (Genesis 1:26).

Although equal in divinity, the Father is in a position of authority or hierarchy over Jesus Christ, incarnate Son of God (John 14:28, 13:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Philippians 2:6-8).

Dr. John MacArthur comments,

God is one, yet He is three. I haven’t got the faintest idea how to explain that divine mystery to everyone’s complete satisfaction, but my own inability to articulate it in a way that answers everyone’s questions doesn’t diminish my faith in God or my conviction that He exists as One in three persons.

And that’s okay. The doctrine of the Trinity stands as a perpetual reminder we cannot comprehend everything God has revealed about Himself. All that I can write about God, when compared to the totality of His attributes, is like one grain of sand compared to every beach, every mountain, and every planet in the universe. In order to comprehend God, we would need to be God’s intellectual equals, but He has no equals and doesn’t tolerate the impudent pretense of anyone who claims to understand things better than He does (Job 40:6–41:34).

Heretics over the centuries have tried to explain the Trinity in several ways. Sabellius said that at times God appears as the Holy Spirit, at other times as the Son, and other times as the Father—just one person, with three manifestations. But the Bible does not support that. God is not a quick–change artist. And as we have seen, at Jesus’s baptism all three persons of the Trinity were manifested at once. God is one, and yet He is three at the very same time. —Dr. John F. MacArthur, Litt.D., D.D., The Master’s Seminary, “God Is a Trinity,” Grace to You (March 4, 2020)

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